It’s one of television’s most discussed questions: Were Friends super couple Ross and Rachel on a break? We thought the debate was over, after Jennifer Aniston admitted on the emotional Friends: The Reunion special that of course her and David Schwimmer’s characters were broken up when Ross slept with another woman. But Aniston has reignited the dispute with a post on Instagram.
While promoting the new Friends merch line, which features many of the iconic sitcom’s most immortal lines, Jennifer Aniston sported a cap that read, “We were SO not on a break!” with the post's caption repeating Rachel’s side of the argument. Check out Aniston’s post below.
Even though Jennifer Aniston admitted on the reunion show that they were, in fact, on a break, it doesn’t seem like the Rachel Green in her is willing to let Ross take that W. Aniston is even invoking the support of her on- and off-screen BFF, Courteney Cox’s Monica Gellar, by wearing a Monica’s Apartment Purple sweatshirt with Monica’s famous line, “I know!” Would Monica really betray her brother like that?
The question of if they were or were not on a break stems from two episodes of Friends Season 3, the first pointedly titled “The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break,” where Ross and Rachel fought over the amount of time she was spending on her new job, and with her new handsome co-worker Mark. Rachel suggested she and Ross take a break, which led Ross to drunkenly sleep with Chloe, the girl from the copy shop. In “The One the Morning After,” Rachel found out, and instead of getting back together, the couple continued their on-again, off-again status until the series finale in Season 10.
Ross’ defense that it wasn’t cheating because they were on a break was an oft-repeated sentiment, making Rachel’s rebuttal the perfect choice to emblazon some merchandise. The rest of the Friends cast also shared photos of themselves sporting other legendary quotes for the merch line. Matt LeBlanc posted a photo of a coffee mug that showed Joey with all of Chandler’s clothes on: “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?” Courteney Cox posed outside the Friends stage with a shirt showing the gang in fountain from the opening credits.
Lisa Kudrow, interestingly, seemed to take the Ross side of the argument, as she posted a photo of herself wearing a shirt that read, “We were on a break!” David Schwimmer, for his part, stayed out of the debate, sporting a shirt that showed Ross and Rachel holding each other that said simply, “Lobsters.”
Of course, Ross is Rachel’s lobster (because lobsters mate for life, according to Phoebe), and since Ross and Rachel ended up together at the end of the series, does it really matter who was right? Does it matter if they were or were not on a break? It does. It truly, truly does. And it looks like this debate will continue to live on. All ten seasons of Friends, as well as Friends: The Reunion can be streamed on HBO Max, and if you need other suggestions of what to watch, check out our 2021 Summer TV schedule.